by Kait O'Callahan
The green fields of Wimbledon separate the pretenders from the elite, and not just when it comes to hitting a ball. Fashion at Wimbledon is a tricky affair; restricted by the all-white colour code, designers can’t rely on unique colour combinations or brights to help their charges stand out. Instead, designers must concentrate on detail and fit to avoid their outfits getting lost in a field of sheep.
Newly crowned French Open Champion Maria Sharapova is not only ranked No.1 at tennis, she also regularly wears the best-dressed crown. Unfortunately, even fashion greats eventually send something less than stunning down the runway, and Sharapova’s dress seems to have fallen victim to too much French Open celebrating. Of course, her dress isn’t badly done and she still looks perfectly fine, but perfectly fine has never been enough for the Russian. The lemon highlights wash out Maria rather than compliment her, and the frill around the bottom of the dress is a trend far too familiar this year. It isn’t bad and it isn’t great, it’s just a little boring.
Serena Williams is the Queen of comebacks, both on the court and in the world of fashion. She’s gone from a suspect cat suit to continuously topping best dressed lists, (my list, anyway) and from a first round French Open exit to... well, we don’t know yet. But while Serena’s form has been inconsistent of late, her fashion sense has only gone from strength to strength. Her outfit for this year’s Wimbledon includes a stunning blazer that would no doubt sell on the high street and some original, if not-quite-there pants. Once she strips those layers off, Serena is wearing an empire line dress with purple details - the colour of royalty, no less. But while empire line outfits are great for women with something to hide and are therefore the choice of pregnant women worldwide, Serena generally looks her best in fitted dresses that show off her athletic form. Not that she’s gone all modest on us, her low cut dress is bound to cause some royal blushes this fortnight.
Agnieszka Radwanska was long without a sponsor, but perhaps she could dress herself better than Lotto have managed this year. To be fair to the company, Radwanksa doesn’t have the easiest body shape to dress. Thin but with breasts and no hips, Radwanska tends to look best in clothes that add shape in the right places. Her Wimbledon dress does nothing for her; the high neck racer-back makes her look even larger on top and the frill along the bottom of the dress appears nothing more than an afterthought. It seems Lotto’s French Open dress was a fluke; it’s back to the drawing board for this brand and the world No. 3.
Women come in many shapes and sizes, and a look at the top four is testament to that. Petra Kvitova, who comes into Wimbledon as the defending champion, doesn’t look best in a tight top and skirt unlike many of her Nike peers. Serena Williams could lend a hand to the Czech, an empire-line dress has potential on Kvitova. For now though, Nike continue to do an injustice to the wide-eyed blonde by turning her out in unflattering clothing. But rather than get down about it, Kvitova has done the best with what they’ve given her and painted her nails a brilliant blue to perfectly match the detail on her dress.
I’m often criticised for complementing Roger Federer’s outfits, but fashion is far from a science and what appeals to one is another’s bargain bin disaster. It can be frustrating to write time and time again that the Swiss looks great, but when Federer strolled onto court in a perfectly-cut V neck sweater, I knew this review would be full of praise once again. Aside from the beautiful sweater, Federer’s on-court outfit is much of the same old same old, but with one small difference - green. Federer isn’t often dressed in green and his Wimbledon outfit hints at how good he looks in the colour. Let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come.
Novak Djokvoic and his new sponsor UNIQLO, have done something I’d barely seen before this year and taken the Wimbledon dress code and added not one but two colours. Unfortunately for Djokovic, they’ve chosen a colour combination that isn’t exactly foolproof - blue and green. Besides from this minor detail, the stripes on the Serb’s shirt continue down to the bottom of his shorts with barely a break in between. The effect is a little too much - original but perhaps trying too hard.
Djokovic is unlikely to care, but his major rival Rafael Nadal has one-upped him on the multi-coloured front. While the stripes along the Spaniards snuggly fitting shirt may appear black on an average TV or live stream, they are in fact a fascinating mix of pink, purple and black. It’s an original and cute pattern that manages to add to the all-white outfit rather than detract from it. Nadal can sometimes go overboard with bright colours, but this time he’s got the balance spot on.
When it comes to Andy Murray and Wimbledon, talk always centres around how many years it has been since a Brit won a Slam. If newspapers and journalists ever get tired of this storyline, perhaps they could focus on how many Slams it has been since Murray wore a decent outfit. As far as I remember, the last time Murray looked good was the last time he donned Fred Perry at Wimbledon. Unfortunately, this Wimbledon will not mark the changing of Murray’s fashion fortunes as once again Adidas has recycled colours and ideas for their top male player. The shorts we’ve seen before, and the top features a distracting orange pattern that looks slapped on at the last minute. There’s no special details, no lovely sweater. Murray once again looks like the outsider in the top four.
Think I’ve missed anything? (I probably have - I’m currently travelling and my Wimbledon coverage is severely limited). I want to know about it. Let me know in the comments box below who you think looks great, who looks awful and who I’ve missed. And don’t forget, fashion is in the eye of the beholder.
Photos: Getty Images